Chris Wesseling

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Week 15 Rankings

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Last updated at 12:25 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012.

Cam Newton became the first player in NFL history with 250+ passing yards, 100+ rushing yards and a touchdown apiece on the ground and through the air in last week’s upset of the Falcons. 


Over the past three weeks, he has a 62.2 completion rate, a 7:0 TD-to-INT ratio, and a 121.8 passer rating while averaging 10 more fantasy points than the next-closest QB. His yards per attempt, yards per completion, passer rating and TD-to-INT rate are all higher this year than in his magical rookie season.


Newton is also on pace for a higher fantasy finish this year than last, currently ranking second in standard-scoring legs. Keep him rolling against the Chargers this week. He could end up carrying you to the title after all. 


Good luck in your fantasy playoffs. 

Week 15 Quarterbacks

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Drew Brees vs. TB -
2 Cam Newton at SD -
3 Peyton Manning at BAL -
4 Tom Brady vs. SF -
5 Matt Ryan vs. NYG -
6 Eli Manning at ATL -
7 Josh Freeman at NO -
8 Andrew Luck at HOU -
9 Andy Dalton at PHI -
10 Aaron Rodgers at CHI -
11 Colin Kaepernick at NE -
12 Tony Romo vs. PIT -
13 Ben Roethlisberger at DAL -
14 Matthew Stafford at ARZ -
15 Carson Palmer vs. KC -
16 Matt Schaub vs. IND -
17 Russell Wilson at BUF -
18 Joe Flacco vs. DEN -
19 Philip Rivers vs. CAR -
20 Nick Foles vs. CIN -
21 Jay Cutler vs. GB Probable (neck)
22 Brandon Weeden vs. WAS -
23 Jake Locker vs. NYJ -
24 Sam Bradford vs. MIN -
25 Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. SEA -
26 Kirk Cousins at CLE -
27 Chad Henne at MIA -
28 Ryan Tannehill vs. JAC -
29 Christian Ponder at STL -
30 Mark Sanchez at TEN -
31 Brady Quinn at OAK -
32 Ryan Lindley vs. DET -

QB Notes: In his past three games, Drew Brees has a 4:9 TD-to-INT ratio with a completion percentage under 60. He’s been especially lousy on passes of 10+ yards downfield, which is where the Bucs defense struggles. I expect Brees to get back on track in a shootout as the Saints and Bucs are first and second in fantasy points allowed to QBs. The last six QBs to face Tampa Bay have averaged 28 fantasy points per game.

Look for Peyton Manning to attack the middle of the field at Baltimore with the Ravens potentially missing three starting linebackers. … The Patriots’ 36.3 points per game is the second-highest figure in the NFL since 1950. Tom Brady has accomplished that gaudy figure against opposing defenses that collectively rank No. 2 in the league this season. ... Andrew Luck is facing a Texans defense that has surrendered an average of nearly 30 fantasy points per game to QBs over the past month. 

Even after being held in check by the Cowboys last week, Andy Dalton still has a shot to break Carson Palmer’s single-season franchise record of 32 touchdowns. A trip to Philadelphia will cure what ails a struggling passer. Since Todd Bowles took over as defensive coordinator, opposing QBs are 130-of-186 (70 percent) for 1,508 yards (8.1 YPA) and 18 touchdowns without an interception. Last week was the first time under Bowles that the Eagles did not allow 28+ points.

Josh Freeman’s past games against the Saints have produced the following numbers: 65.1 completion rate, 1,259 yards (315 per), 8:0 TD-to-INT ratio, and 110.5 passer rating. Matt Ryan in Week 13 and Matt Cassel in Week 3 are the only QBs not to reach 20 fantasy points on the Saints this season. … The Eli Manning-Matt Ryan matchup has plenty of shootout appeal of its own. We know the Falcons can run the ball effectively.

Reasons to doubt Aaron Rodgers: The Packers have skewed more heavily toward the ground game over the past month. The Bears run defense is allowing 144.6 yards per over the past six weeks, up exponentially from 77.6 through Week 8. Rodgers’ offense has averaged 2.6 touchdowns this season, down from 3.8 last year. He has just two passing scores in his past three games and hasn’t seen 300 yards in a game since Week 7. Rodgers has attempted more than 30 passes just once in the second half of the season. Over the past five weeks, he’s 22nd in fantasy points per game. Reasons to believe in Aaron Rodgers: He’s the most gifted all-around QB in the league and can explode for a monster fantasy game on any given Sunday.  

Remember when Mike Shanahan okey-doked the entire league by keeping Robert Griffin III under wraps for the entire preseason only to unleash him on the Saints in the opener? It sure seems like there’s similar gamesmanship at play this week. Shanny admitted early in the week that he would keep the Browns in the dark, but I still have a hard time believing RGIII won’t play. I have a similarly hard time believing he will be a legit threat with his legs, which is where he derives a good portion of his fantasy value. Kirk Cousins would not be a top-25 fantasy option if he ends up starting against a suddenly stout Browns defense.  

Matchups guru Evan Silva expects Colin Kaepernick to attack the Patriots aggressively in effort to keep pace with Tom Brady. ... Romo’s best receiver may be a question mark in terms of effectiveness this week, but that is offset by the Steelers’ injury-depleted cornerbacks. … Lions OC Scott Linehan believes Matthew Stafford is on track to become “one of the best QBs to ever play the position.” That may be the case, but he’s not a strong fantasy play with five of his top six preseason passing-game weapons out against Arizona’s shut-down pass defense.

Flacco has thrown for fewer than 200 yards in five of the past seven games, in large part because deposed coordinator Cam Cameron didn’t give him many easy throws. Flacco’s questionable internal clock could come into play against Von Miller & Co. this week. … Don’t worry about the weather factor for Russell Wilson; the Bills are hosting the Seahawks indoors at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. … Ben Roethlisberger just missed a trio of deep balls off his receivers’ fingertips after escaping pressure last week. The concern, however, is that the Steelers couldn’t move the ball until the Chargers relaxed their defense in garbage time. The Bolts’ front seven caved in Pittsburgh’s offensive line throughout the afternoon.

Nick Foles did an excellent job of scrambling to throw for big plays down the field last week with the Bucs constantly flushing him from the pocket. While it was a highly promising start against the league’s worst pass defense, the concern is that Foles was sacked six times by a mediocre pass rush. He will have his hands full Thursday night against a Geno Atkins-led Bengals that leads the NFL with 42 sacks.

What’s gotten into Ryan Tannehill? Coach Joe Philbin is blaming the receivers’ inability to separate, which essentially morphs the entire field into an area the size of the red zone. On the other hand, NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell has noticed a dropoff in Tannehill’s accuracy. ESPN’s Adam Schefter goes a step further: “I haven’t walked away from a Miami Dolphins game in a good month, saying, ‘That quarterback was really impressive.”


Sunday Update: Bumped Matt Ryan, Eli Manning for shootout potential with both secondaries banged up. Bumped Ben Roethlisberger slightly. Removed Robert Griffin III, added Kirk Cousins. There are only about six legit QB1s this week, as the next dozen are a crapshoot.



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Chris Wesseling is a senior football editor and Dynasty league analyst for The 2011 NFL season marks his fifth year with Rotoworld and his third year contributing to He can be found on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.
Email :Chris Wesseling

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